Over the weekend, KFC ran a test at one of their Atlanta restaurants – including the obligatory lines forming – selling meatless chicken nuggets and boneless wings. While it is not yet sure if the partnership with hyped-up plant-based burger producer Beyond Meat will be expanded, the demand for the product, which sold out in five hours, suggests it.
The environmental advantages of plant-based meat alternatives are undeniable, but vegan and vegetarian food is often also associated with being a healthier option. A comparison of meatless and traditional items on the menus of KFC and Burger King – who are partnering with Impossible Foods for their meatless Whopper – suggest otherwise. While calorie and fat counts of KFC and Burger King meatless options are slightly below their meat-based counterparts, both vegan options also have a caveat. While the Impossible Whopper has sodium contents exceeding that of the original Whopper, KFC’s “Beyond” Chicken Nuggets are higher in saturated fats (which hints at higher cholesterol levels).
Comparing the KFC nuggets to chicken tenders also gives the company the benefit of the doubt. While KFC in the U.S. does not serve chicken nuggets, another close relative on the menu is KFC’s Popcorn Chicken, which clocks in at an amazing 980 calories, 61 grams of fat (8 grams saturated) and an eye-popping 2,890 milligrams of sodium per 270-gram serving.